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Thursday

Everyday Grace

Most of the time I am pretty content with where God has me.  Most of the time I remember that I am still a work in progress and that Christ will complete what He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6).  Most of the time.....but not all the time.

Every now and then I forget these things. I start comparing myself to other people or judging success and failure strictly on my own merit. I find this happens most in areas of my life that are most important to me and therefore have the most power to discourage me when I struggle.  Those areas for me are my marriage and my children.  No outworking of my faith is as important to me as manifesting Christ to my wife and my kids.  And yet I find that so often I seem to be an abject failure at just those things.

It is in the small things that I find success to be elusive.  My wife will ask me to get her a drink from the kitchen and my first reaction is not joy at being able to serve her but selfishness.  My flesh begins to try to keep count of how many times I have done something for her compared to how many times she has served me.  Even when I do serve her, too often it is with a grumbling, complaining heart.

I desperately want to model Christ's love, mercy, and humility to my children.  Yet, I find that so often what comes from me is selfishness (again), pride, and frustration.  How will learn to love their heavenly Father if their earthly one doesn't show them what He is like?  

It can be easy to despair when you realize that despite your best efforts and intentions you are not really doing what you want and need to be doing in the most important areas of your life.  As a matter of fact, the realization that I can't do those things would bring despair if not for an amazing, miraculous truth:  grace.

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  --  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

It turns out God knows I can't do those things.  He knows I have a selfish heart.  He knows that I get frustrated by my children too easily.  He knows all those things about me.....and His grace is sufficient for me. He never intended for me to do those things because I can't.  He intends to do those things through me if I will just let Him.  Instead of bearing down and trying harder and harder to do something that I can't do, I need to go to Him and confess my weakness.  In my weakness His power is made perfect in me.  

The truth is this:  I am a terrible husband and a terrible father.  I would rather watch TV or surf the internet from the comfort of the couch than I would put in the time and effort with my wife and my children.  Trying to deny this truth just leads to more and more frustration for me and for my family as I try to do what I should do but can't do.

The truth is this:  God's grace is sufficient for me.  In my weakness His power is made perfect.  The best thing I can do for my marriage and my children is to go before the throne of grace and confess my weaknesses and allow the grace of the perfect Husband and Father to cover me and my family.

I need God's grace.  I need it everyday.  I need it in everything I do.  I need to beg and plead Him to cover me and my family with it.  It is sufficient for me.




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